DETROIT-Bids to perform a structural, engineering and mechanical assessment for the 77-year-old Book-Cadillac Hotel in Downtown Detroit will be accepted up until Wednesday.

City officials are bidding out the structural survey of the hotel to determine if the 77-year-old, 1,200 room historic building can be saved for future development.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has held a pre-bid meeting to discuss what would be expected, Peter Zeiler of the quasi-public organization, tells

“It went very well,” Zeiler says. “We had about 75 people from 35 engineering and architectural firms at the meeting.” It’s anticipated that a few of the engineering and architecture firms will team up to present bids to complete the survey, Zeiler says.

The corporation and the Downtown Development Authority acquired the building this summer from a collection of private investors through bankruptcy hearings after a two-year court fight to get the hotel under city control. Both the DEGC and the DDA want to either rebuild the hotel or tear it down, similar to the demolition of the popular J.L. Hudson’s building Downtown three years ago.

There have already been a few assessments performed on the property, and some say the building is unusable due to water damage.

“What we’re really looking for is a two-fold analysis of the building,” Zeiler says. “What is the actual condition, such as how rusted are the I-beams, is there severe damage to the flooring, etc. The second would be an architectural analysis, such as what can be removed to create a new use that makes sense for the modern market.”

These requirements would include whether the building can be made compliant with the Americans With Disabilities act, and whether the walls are wide enough apart for modern office usage. The DEGC hopes to select a team from the bids by the end of the year, Zeiler tells

The hotel was designed by architect Louis Kamper and is located in Downtown Detroit at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue.

In it’s day, the property was one of the grandest of hotels in the city, being 32 stories tall with 1,200 rooms and about 800,000 sf of space, complete with gargoyles, three large crystal chandeliers in the ballroom and a treasure trove of copper and brass that has since been stripped off by vandals.

At the time of its completion, it was the largest hotel in the world. It closed its doors in 1986 and has sat vacant, as many development plans have come and gone.

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